Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens - Rosser Park

Botanic Gardens boardwalk

The Gardens are open all year round, from 5am to 7pm. Entry is free. There’s plenty of on-site car parking from the main entrance off Ashmore Road, Benowa, opposite Benowa State High School. The Gardens are just 10 minutes’ drive from central Surfers Paradise.

Garden attractions

There's an experience for everyone:

  • smell and touch plants and flowers at the Sensory Garden
  • take a mangroves to mountain walk
  • check out our local species
  • visit the native Butterfly Garden
  • stroll on the boardwalks around the feature lake
  • have a picnic
  • treat the dog to a play in the off leash dog area, or
  • enjoy a guided walk available by prior appointment.

The Gardens are very popular for wedding ceremonies, providing many amazing locations for your special day (see more below). They're also popular for social gatherings and birthday parties. There's ample space around the playground area to set up shade marquees and toilets nearby. The playground design fits with the natural surroundings of the Gardens, embracing a lot of natural timbers and green colours. There are three structures; a climbing frame, large slide and toddler slide. There are also several balancing elements, and swings add to the fun.

Freshly ground organic coffee, loose leaf teas and gluten-free treats are available from the Friends Centre, open every day from 9am to 3pm, weather permitting.

Download a map of the Gardens' attractions(PDF, 174KB)

Maps are also available from The Friends Centre, or at the information boards in the Gardens.

Accessibility

Access for people with disabilities include a pathway that loops around and through the Gardens. Public toilets and carpark are easily accessible.

What's on at the Gardens

Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens runs a range of events and activities for the whole family, including many run by the Friends of the Gardens. Register for a guided walk to learn about our native bees, birds and many other aspects of these beautiful gardens, or find a bargain at the Friends' monthly nursery sale.

Check out upcoming events at the Gardens, including those mentioned above, at What's On Gold Coast.

What's on at the gardens

Dog exercise areas

A section of this park is great for dogs, with an enormous off leash exercise area. Entrance to this section and carparking is near the playground. There's a second entrance off Cabana Boulevard.

Dogs are prohibited around the central feature lake and all children's playground areas.

City of Gold Coast has numerous areas where you can exercise your dog off leash.

Find this off leash exercise area

Botanic Gardens Education Program

An excursion to the Gardens is an excellent opportunity for students to further their understanding of the environment, flora and fauna.

For more information visit the Botanic Gardens Education Program page.

Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden has been specially designed to attract, feed and provide habitat for a wide range of butterflies. Spend a moment and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of these beautiful butterflies in flight. Interpretive signage will give you an understanding of the life cycle of a butterfly and its importance to the environment.

Closed Forest Gorge

Listen to the soothing sound of trickling water from the fountain and creeks as you wander through the gorge. Find a variety of rainforest trees and ferns from Southeast Queensland including Red and White Cedars, Quandongs, Rosewoods and Peanut trees.

Dry Rainforest

How can a rainforest be dry? Beneath a canopy of tall trees, discover an understorey of small or spiny leaf shrubs where mosses and ferns are rare.

Endangered Plant Trail

Botanic Gardens around the world are known for the conservation program and here at the Gold Coast is no exception. A highlight of the gardens is the ‘Endangered Plant Trail’. The Trail takes you on a walk showcasing 28 of the regions plants, all listed under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. Each plant is individually signed with interesting information and facts.

The ’Endangered Plant Trail’ brochure is available at the Friends Centre.

Eucalyptus Open Woodland

From the grove of magnificent Cabbage Palms and the tranquil Melaleuca lined creek to the dappled light from the Brushbox canopy the wetlands provide a relaxing, back-to-nature experience. The design of the wetlands allows you to go ’Off Track’ and immerse yourself in the surrounding environment.

Freshwater Wetlands

From the grove of magnificent Cabbage Palms and the tranquil Melaleuca lined creek to the dappled light from the Brushbox canopy, the wetlands provide a relaxing, back-to-nature experience. The design of the wetlands allows you to go ’Off Track’ and immerse yourself in the surrounding environment.

Friends of the Gardens

Get involved! Become a member of Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens – a group of volunteers passionate about this beautiful park. The Friends play an active role in the gardens, including:

  • organising children's activities
  • Green Team garden maintenance volunteers
  • nursery propagation group
  • herbarium group
  • volunteer guides
  • craft group.

The Friends' Centre, opened in 2009, is the hub for garden information. Community groups and botanical workshops are active in the centre, and visitors are welcome to drop in, chat to the volunteers and take home some great fact sheets, brochures and gifts. The Centre is manned by the wonderful Friends volunteers, and is open every day from 9am to 3pm, weather permitting.

For further information about guided walks, community planting days or joining the organisation, please visit the Friends website or phone 0449 561 674.

Gondwana Track

Feel the cooling effect of the dense and dark canopy as you walk along the Gondwana track. Admire the towering pines trees, including Hoop, Bunya and Kauri. Visit the giant Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) that has many hollows, providing vital habitat for our native fauna. These are some of the oldest trees at the gardens.

Gum Tree Corridor

The corridor has a variety of gum trees planted according to their bark type or plant community. See the differences between stringybarks and ironbarks, box trees, smooth barks and half barks.

History

In 1969, John Rosser donated over 2 hectares of his land for an environmental park. Established in 1975, the park evolved into the Gold Coast Regional Botanical Gardens. This followed a Council resolution in May 1999, proposed by Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens. Council selected Rosser Park as the most suitable site based on criteria of international standards. In 2004, the Friends appointed Gene Rosser as Patron of the Friends.

A Gardens Reference Group formed, with representatives from the Friends, the community and Council. The Group helped steer the development of a Master Plan, completed in 2002. The planning process involved extensive consultation with the wider Gold Coast community.

In 2003, the Friends took the first steps towards establishing the Gardens. They undertook successful planting days in the Mountains to Mangroves section. Other achievements since then include:

  • 2006 – establishment of the Sensory and Horticultural Display Gardens around the lagoon. A joint effort between Council, Rotary International and the Friends.
  • 2007 to 2008 – extension of the Mangroves to Mountain section. Corporate volunteers and Gold Coast Institute of TAFE students helped with the plantings.
  • 2009 – opening of The Friends' Centre. The Centre is a hub for visitor information, botanical workshops and community groups.
  • more than 20,000 local Australian natives planted by the Friends, with community support.
  • The Friends continue to hold Community Planting Days each year.

Horticulture Display Garden

The Gold Coast climate allows a huge variety of plants to be grown successfully and the Horticulture Display Garden boasts a broad palette of plants from around the globe, along with a range of Australian native plants.

Red flowering eucalypts and brilliantly hued bottlebrushes and grevilleas attract native nectar feeding birds; gardenias and magnolias emit amazing fragrances and a number of hedges flush new growth in shades of soft pink, pale green or startling reds. There is an ever-changing parade of flowers for every season, with bedding displays changed annually. The Horticulture Display Garden is an impressive plant collection and entices visitors to wander and discover horticulture.

Kaialgumm Games Trail

The Kaialgumm Games Trail takes you to 6 sites where you can use the QR reader on your smart phone or tablet to find out more about traditional indigenous games and how to play them.

Kids playground

A lovely spot for the kids to play, swing and laugh, surrounded by the beautiful gardens. A great place to hold your next children's birthday party. Visit our park bookings page for more information.

Mangroves to Mountains

The walk is the ‘backbone’ of the Botanic Gardens. It allows you to experience a variety of plant communities common to the Gold Coast and South East Queensland region.

Starting at the ‘Friends Centre’, the walk is approximately 1.5 kilometres and takes in many of the highlights of the Gardens' ‘Living Collection’. Along the way there are several smaller paths leading off. Make sure you follow these to find the ‘hidden gems’ of the Gardens.

Montane Rockery

The Montane Rockery introduces plant species usually only seen by adventurous bushwalkers on exposed mountains and escarpments of South East Queensland.

Native fauna at the Gardens

The Botanic Gardens play a critical role in providing habitat for the native fauna in an urban environment. At the lakes and lagoons you can spot turtles, water dragons, swans and a wide variety of other water birds. Along the paths keep a lookout for:

  • lizards
  • pythons
  • native bee hives
  • frogs (in the freshwater wetlands)
  • birds such as Kookaburra’s, Honeyeaters, Superb Fairy Wren, and the elusive ground dwelling Buff-banded Rail.

The gardens also have numerous tree hollows, both natural and man-made. They provide homes for birds, possums, gliders and micro bats.

Please do not feed the wildlife at the botanic gardens as it can lead to the animals becoming sick and unwanted aggressive behaviour.

Rose Garden

Designed and planted by the Gold Coast Rose Society, the rose garden features various roses suited to the local climate.

Sensory Garden

The Sensory Garden, supported by Gold Coast Rotary (District 9640), provides a unique experience for all visitors. It is specifically designed for disabled visitors to interact with nature in a safe environment. Using a range of plants that stimulate the five senses, the gardens are raised to allow ease of access for all.

The Story of our Country garden

The Story of our Country garden, put in by our first Green Army team, tells a story, through landscape, of the journey travelled by the Yugambeh people from the hinterland to the Gold Coast. Take a walk through and watch this garden grow, from the open grassy landscape around Beaudesert, over the rainforested slopes of Tamborine Mountain and down to the coastal swamps and dunes.

The garden was designed by Kate Heffernan and inspired by a design brief from the Yugambeh Museum. The garden was opened by Minister Steven Ciobo, Mayor Tom Tate and Rory O'Connor from the Yugambeh Museum on 29 June 2015, with a traditional Yugambeh smoking ceremony.

Wedding locations

These picturesque Gardens provide the perfect place for a wedding ceremony among the wonders of nature. The central lake and boardwalk along with the beautiful plants and bright flowers create an amazing backdrop.

Photo opportunities

There a plenty of stunning locations around the Gardens to capture special moments on your big day, including:

  • boardwalk with stunning lake backdrop
  • flower beds in bloom and towering trees
  • bamboo backdrops
  • tree-lined pathways.

Other features

There are ample parking areas throughout the Gardens, and 2 amenities buildings are located on site. A small undercover ceremony option is located in the Sensory Garden.

Ceremony locations

There are 4 areas available that can be booked in two-hour blocks, which allow for set-up, ceremony and photos. You can set up an arch, a runner and 20 chairs. The 4 areas are as follows:

  • Lakeside Lawn (150 guests only)
  • Cypress Lawn (100 guests only)
  • Sensory Garden (100 guests only)
  • Lakeside Rotunda (30 guests only)

To find the most suitable location for your wedding refer to our ceremony location map(PDF, 121KB)

Book the Gardens

For more information on holding your wedding at this location visit Park weddings. This page also provides details of the total cost of booking one of the above ceremonies at this venue. This cost is non-refundable under any circumstances.

Book this park

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Location

Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens - Rosser Park, 230 Ashmore Road, Benowa 4217  
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